Monday, August 29, 2011

Keeping calm when you're on live TV

The other day I was interviewed on Good Day LA, sharing great deals that we were running on Plum District. When I arrived at the beach at 7 am, I was pretty frantic because no one was there to help me set up and we were going LIVE in 1 hour. The morning got worse before it got better. As I was unloading a box, a man walked up to me and I looked up squinting at the sun. He had papers in his hand, so I asked him if he was the balloon delivery guy. No, he responded I am Bob Decastro, the reporter from Fox. Yikes! I tried to recover. But then the real balloon guy showed up and I kind of nodded to Bob as if to say, see, I was expecting the balloon guy, not I didn't recognize you.

As moms and kids showed up the day got better and better. I was pretty nervous and kept doing my deep breathing exercises as it got closer to 8:30. But everything was calm around me, the kids were playing nicely in the sand box and we were all set to go. Bob took off his shoes and rolled up his pants, he was a pro. He played in the sand with some kids and we were LIVE. It was such a rush, but I held my own. Check out the link.

Bam, it was over. We were all set up for the second shoot and I noticed that the camera crew was wrapping up. Bob comes over and apologizes that they have to leave, some homicide in Torrance....

I had to break the news to all of the people I had waiting on the beach. Then an idea...I decided since we had everyone there already, I'd be the reporter and we'd go ahead with the shoot. I had way more fun this time, not live TV. See
me as a reporter at Gladstones

Dog and a Duck PR firm, edited this and really helped me made lemonade out of a sour situation!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What kind of role models are best for our children?

I went away to the mountains recently to do a reality TV Show for the Discovery Channel. I can't say much about it now except that it was CRAZY! I lived in a wilderness camp 9,000 feet high with 9 other people and we were told to, "Survive on our own." I will definitely share more details about the show, when it will air and my experience on it, when I get the OK. The reason I bring this up now, is that my children spent 2 weeks at their Grandma and Zadee's house. When they came home they had all kinds of new manners, good ones, gross ones and some that sounded a little scary. The best was my littlest learned that talking with your mouth full was bad. The worst was that the punishment for talking with your mouth full was being "locked" in the closet. Now mind you my kids were never locked in the closet, but you can imagine my embarrassment when my son announced this punishment loudly to a friend and her children who were visiting us and unfortunately, "talking with food in their mouths." "Don't talk with food in your mouth or you'll get locked in the closet," he sing-songed to her. "What?" I said, "Who taught you that?" "Grandma," he said as he took a new bite. "Did you ever get locked in the closet?" I wanted to know. He refused to answer until he had finished chewing; Pointing to his mouth as he chewed. Well, he hadn't and it apparently had really made an impression on him. But wouldn't also threatening to lock them in the dark basement if they didn't eat their broccoli? I had to get down to the bottom of this and I did. My mother explained it was a well lit closet of sorts that was easy to get out of and they would never have done it. In fact, only Zadee had gotten "put" in there once. I guess you get a warning before that happens, so you have a chance to change your behavior. Either way, it probably wasn't what I would have said. But how can I complain, I dumped my kids there for 2 whole weeks while I went off on a journey of self discovery and starvation! Here are a few other great manners that they learned:

1) After burping you MUST say, "Excuse me, I am a piggy."
2) When you get to the bottom of your milk, you suck noisy air through your straw and say,"Blue Angels" like the noisy airplane air show.
3) And it is okay to wake people up by tickling their feet!

These well meant manners aside, I really do feel totally blessed to have parents who care so deeply about my children and love them so much that they just adore having them visit. My parents play with them like they are kids themselves. Their actions of having uncensored fun with my kids and showing them that adults can be silly too is just the kind of role model that I am thankful my children have. It's not like at home where we as parents have to clean the house, pay the bills, go to work. I want to spend more time playing with my children. I have an idea of how to get them to help out more at home to free up more time for me to play with them ( but that's another blog entry). My parents give 100% of their time when the kids are visiting; playing hide-n-seek 100 times as day, reading to them, taking them for long bike rides and letting the kids squirt them with water canyons, which, by the way, has a penalty of getting a "free" butt squirt if you accidentally squirt someone in the face. Even though I have to make a few minor tweaks when they come home, I know summers at Grandma and Zadee's will forever be filled with fun memories. But beyond those their grandparents will have a lasting impression of learned lessons from two people whom I admire and love.

Parents: Speak well and you'll hear good manners

When I think about teaching my children manners, it is not all about their actions. It is also about how they say it. We are so caught up on teaching our children to say, "Please and Thank you," have we forgotten about proper English? It is just as important for children to use the correct words when asking for something. Instead of "Can I have...? " It should be, "Please, May I have more peas?" "Could you please pass the vegetables?" As I listened closer to my children's words, I found I needed to listen closer to my own words. If I asked, "Does anyone want pizza?" the response was more often than not, "I want pizza." So, if we are to expect our children to be polite, we need to guide their response. We should say, "Would anyone like more pizza?" in hopes of a "Yes, please," or a "No, Thank you." It is just the same as with our actions. If we do the same routine when we sit down to the table, our children will learn from that as well. If my husband pulls out the chair for me, the children will see that it is a nice gesture for a husband to do for his wife. When I sit down, I always take my napkin, unfold it and put it on my lap. I use a knife and fork to cut and eat my food. I wipe my mouth by dabbing and I never speak with food in my mouth. Sure, I am perfect. Actually, I am not...I put my feet on my chair and hug my knees while sitting at the table when I am done. I often speak with food in my mouth because I love to talk. And I leave the table 10 times during any given meal. So, it is really me who is sending messages to my children that these behaviors are okay. It is up to me to be a good role model and not only tell them what are good table manners but physically show them.

I am sure this is not the first time anyone has said this. But to me it may be the first time I have had a minute as a mom to actually reflect on my own teachings and realize that I need to listen to my own advice.